By April Wilson, Senior Staff Writer
The singing, dancing, CGI chipmunks are at it again. Alvin, Simon and Theodore returned to movie theatres everywhere with the third installment of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” over winter break.
The ‘munks, their girlfriends the Chipettes and their manager/father figure Dave (Jason Lee) are off for an exciting family vacation cruise. Of course Alvin’s antics lead to the group being marooned on a conveniently placed desert island along with former bad guy manager wannabe Ian Hawke (David Cross) and a seemingly friendly co-castaway Zoe (Jenny Slate). As anticipated, hijinks ensue, and as in every Chipmunk movie, a happy ending results with lots of computer-manipulated singing to move the plot along.
In addition to Lee and Cross’s return, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney return respectively as Alvin, Simon and Theodore with Christina Applegate, Anna Faris and Amy Poehler returning for a second time as Brittany, Jeneatte and Eleanor.
The movie is a cute piece of family fluff with no real appeal. However, you may get a kick out of watching the children’s reactions to the juvenile humor, as well as their attempts to refrain from dancing in the aisles to covers of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Rihanna’s “S.O.S.,” Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and a silly rendition of “Whip My Tail” performed by the Chipettes, an homage to Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair.”
The one bright spot of the movie was Saturday Night Live alum Jenny Slate’s turn as antagonist Zoe. The Chipmunks encounter her and initially find her to be helpful in surviving the island climate. However, it quickly becomes evident that Zoe is more than a little crazy. She has a collection of sports balls a la “Castaway” that she has lively conversations with. Slate makes this otherwise annoying children’s flick a little more endurable with her quick wit and deadpan line delivery.
Overall, the film is great if you have children or nieces, nephews, younger siblings, or even random urchins who need entertaining. It is clean family fun with lots of kiddie-humor including a fair amount of slapstick and mischief.
So go and catch some mindless laughs and bring a kid or two because really there are worse kid movies to sit through and this 87-minute flick will go fast.